Bob and Charlie, that was there names. Bob was the nervous one, the one the blonde told Charlie to take out for drinks. I wasn’t worried about the blonde that night, she’d sleep well in her bed. Bob and Charlie, on the other hand, wouldn’t sleep that night. They wouldn’t sleep for a long time.
Charlie picked the place, Boneshakers, a bar and grill, heavy on the bar. Country music boomed from the speakers of the entertainment system, and some country star cried his heart out to the music on a giant theater screen on one wall. I ignored it all, the crowd, the dancing, the drinking. I wasn’t interested in that. I watched Charlie and Bob.
Charlie ordered the first round, “A couple of Buds!” He patted Bob’s shoulder, “You OK, buddy?”
“I keep seeing her stuff everywhere.”
“I know what you mean. I see it everywhere too.”
Bob chugged half his beer, “Yeah, but you sleep at night.” His thumbs pressed against the sides of the can, almost bent it before he caught himself, and pulled them back. But his fingers couldn’t stop moving, and pressed against the can, making little “clack” sounds as the can popped back into shape each time his fingers shifted. “I haven’t slept in days.”
“That’s why we’re here, buddy. We both need to relax.” Charlie waved at the bartender, “Another round over here.” Bob drained his first can, then let his fingers crush the sides in. The bartender walked over with two fresh cans, put them down. Bob nearly choked, Charlie stood up, “What the fuck?” Darla’s picture was on the side of each can, another picture was on the bar.
“What’s wrong, guys?”
They didn’t say anything.
“Oh, the cans? Yeah. We got a whole shipment of them with different pictures stuck on them. Some special can. Saw them when we opened the case.” He sighed, “The guy that delivered them was surprised. Didn’t know what it was.” He picked up a can, turned it around, “See?” The can said, “In Memory Of The Unsolved Cases”.
The bartender shrugged, “Pretty morbid thing to do, don’t you think?”
Bob and Charlie sat there, staring at the cans. “She’s haunting us, right?”
“Bob, there’s no such thing as ghosts.”
I stood behind them, invisible in my armor. It was time to sing, in Darla’s voice. I sang along with the song. Bob turned pale, almost white. Charlie spilled his drink, “Shit!”
They got up, left the bar, I tagged along. Darla’s ghost wasn’t done with them that night. Not by a long shot. Their night was going to be long, black, and poisonous. A night they’d never forget.
This is Part 5 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×46. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?